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'Goodnight Scotland, no quarter-finals again': The Rugby Pod's World Cup 2023 draw verdict

By Online Editors

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Former England out-half Andy Goode has had a giggle at the expense of his Rugby Pod co-host Jim Hamilton, merrily quipping that Scotland are facing World Cup pool stage elimination in 2023 – the same fate they suffered in 2019.


Monday’s pool stage draw for the 2023 finals in France resulted in the Scots getting pitted against defending champions South Africa and Ireland, the team that beat them twice in 2020 after hammering them in a group fixture at Japan 2019.

That opening round World Cup loss 15 months ago in Yokohama left Gregor Townsend’s team on the back foot in their pool and while they secured subsequent wins over Samoa and Russia, Scotland were beaten in a final game shootout with host nation Japan.

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England boss Eddie Jones reacts to the 2023 World Cup draw
Video Spacer
England boss Eddie Jones reacts to the 2023 World Cup draw

That 2019 outcome was a far cry from what occurred in 2015 when Scotland were robbed of qualification for the World Cup semi-finals due to a controversial refereeing decision versus Australia in the quarter-finals in London.

Now faced with tackling the Springboks and the Irish in 2023 following a 2020 calendar year that ended with the dejection of sobering Nations Cup defeats at home to France and away to Ireland, ex-England No10 Goode couldn’t resist having a lighthearted dig at his show colleague Hamilton, the ex-Scotland lock who featured at RWC 2011.

Hamilton, in his reply, made mention of ex-Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan who was especially critical of Scotland following their December 5 defeat in Dublin, claiming they are not as good as they think they are. After listening to a post-game interview with Stuart Hogg, O’Sullivan, now an Irish TV pundit, replied at the time: “We’ve seen all this before.


“They always talk themselves up, they always talk a great game. They have some deluded notion that they are better than they are. I’m not being harsh. These guys haven’t won here in ten years, they’ve won three times against Ireland in nearly 20 years. It’s just deluded. They talk themselves up, they come in, and then they implode. We have seen this time and time again.”

Goode warmed to this negative theme on The Rugby Pod when discussing Monday’s RWC draw:

AG: Goodnight Scotland, no quarter-finals again eh, Jim!

JH: You’re tweeting that and people who are Scottish probably are coming at you on social media. What have Scotland got to do with it? What about another team, what about Wales with Fiji and Australia? What do you mean they are going to struggle to get out of their group as well – what are you on about?


AG: You ain’t Welsh, mate. I like to keep it real between our little circle. Scotland, you have got Ireland and South Africa as the first two seeds and you’re third seed – you ain’t getting to the quarter-finals again, Jim.

JH: I’ll tell you how we will get to the quarter-finals. If Eddie O’Sullivan comes in and goes through that 3-2-1-7-9 play with the pod at the back with the rushed defence decoy stuff out the back with the boot over the 3 and the 2 and the 1, we can beat Ireland if Eddie O’Sullivan comes to the fore and helps us out of our group. We’re going to struggle. Who knows, though? It’s a long time away. Why are they doing it now, why Christmas, why?

AG: It’s a Christmas present all you Scottish fans that you ain’t getting to the quarter-finals. Mate, it is strange. We are two-and-a-half years out from a World Cup and they are doing the draw now, I don’t get it. It’s all around the World Rugby rankings at the minute, isn’t it, and we’re going to see a lot of change. The World Cup is a hell of a long way away but out of all the tier one nations, the happiest is England because we have got Japan and Argentina. We might as well put the kids out and we’ll win that.

JH: So humble.

AG: So honest. But no, Argentina just beat New Zealand so it is going to be tough. They have come in as tier three seeds.

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